Wrapping Paper Roll Call: In Celebration of the Essentials

Illustration for article titled Wrapping Paper Roll Call: In Celebration of the Essentials
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What do you get the person who has given so many so much—in many cases, the gift of care, comfort and survival—this year? As 2020 comes to a close, the indisputable heroes in our midst are essential workers, especially those who’ve risked their own health, lives, and constant burnout to care for those with COVID-19. If you have an essential worker in your life, you know better than most the sacrifices they’ve made for so many others on a daily basis; sacrifices we cannot ever adequately thank them for. While all they may really want this holiday is for all of us to wear our masks and socially distance, perhaps one of the following tokens of appreciation will at least remind them that we see them, are thinking of them, and thank them—for everything.


Shea Radiance

They’ve been putting in countless hours with little to no relief; a kit of travel-sized luxury-level skincare will help them refresh and feel cared for, even between shifts. Better yet, get them a full-sized set for home, too.

Izzy & Liz

Help them bring a little flavor to their breakroom with a lunch tote and thermos from this lifestyle brand...and help bring a little pick-me-up to their shift.

Blk & Bold

This Black-owned coffee and tea brand has philanthropy built into its ethos—it gives 5 percent back to underserved youth. As the COVID crisis emerged, Blk & Bold also gifted their convenient single-use steeped coffee bags to frontline workers—and you can, too.


Prisca’s Art

Yes, we know medical workers are issued medical-grade protection, but those essential workers outside of the medical field (even at-home healthcare workers) are often required to supply their own goods, and we love the bonnet-mask combos (complete with filter pocket) from this Black female-owned brand.


E-Marie Travel

No, they may not be able to take a vacation now (or feel safe doing so), but should they need to catch a nap between shifts, a luxe blanket and mask set from E-Marie travel is the ideal escape—and will conveniently roll up to fit in a handbag or tote once they’ve refreshed.


Movita Organics

Taking care of others doesn’t always translate to taking care of oneself, so make sure they have the boost they need by gifting her vitamins by this cult-favorite, woman-centric brand created by Tonya Lewis-Lee (producer, entrepreneur and wife of Spike).


Liberate App

They’re carrying the world on their shoulders; help them decompress and de-stress with the help of meditation, specifically crafted with our needs in mind. You can gift a friend or family member longterm benefits via this app designed for the Black experience.


Bea’s Wellness Teas

Balance. Rest. Energy. For essential workers, these may all be in short supply, but you can do your part to help with the gift of specific blends from this wellness-focused tea brand.


Foot Nanny

Oprah’s favorite will likely be theirs, too, providing relief after a day spent on their feet. With a variety of blends and fragrances (yes, for men, too), you can give them some much-needed pampering.


Enda Sportswear

This sportswear brand was created with champion Kenyan runners in mind—which means it can more than handle the demands of a day spent on their feet. With thoughtful details like extra cushioning for longterm wear, these runners will help keep them running.



If they’re wearing scrubs or a uniform all day, help them ease into something more comfortable at home with a luxury cotton gauze or velvet caftan from this wellness-centered marketplace—which offers plenty of other gift options, too.



If the stress is understandably overwhelming them, help them unwind with a series of private sessions or unlimited monthly group classes at Stretch 22’s Virtual Stretch Lounge, which range from $40-$99.



2020 The Root 100 honoree Ajon Crump created this GoFundMe (formerly known as #NikesForNurses) to support those we’ve depended on most during this crisis—which is unfortunately ongoing. Donate to the cause, or put in a request of your own to get a pair of kicks for a frontline hero.


Maiysha Kai is managing editor of The Glow Up, host of The Root Presents: It's Lit! podcast and Big Beauty Tuesdays, and your average Grammy-nominated goddess next door. May I borrow some sugar?